Foreign ‘assets’ in Libya

by Omar Shtewi

The Guardian has this on the ways in which Libya’s foreign relations may take shape.

China, we learn, is seeking to “protect its assets in a post-Gaddafi Libya”.

One could say that Gaddafi himself was a Chinese asset.  While the unemployment rate among Libyans ran at – at least – 30%,  the Gaddafi regime allowed China to flood the country with 36000 workers.

This is also the situation in Algeria.  While young Algerians can find no work, the government floods the country with cheap Chinese workers.  China takes the resources and ensures that its own people take employment opportunities.  Algeria is left with nothing, the ruling classes are enriched. This was the situation in Gaddafi’s Libya and one which, we hope, will not return.

In China’s favour, as it attempts to repair relations with the National Transitional Council which it shunned, is that has made attempts to ingratiate itself with Libya’s emerging leadership:

China abstained in the UN security council vote that authorised the Nato campaign, but then condemned the strikes and expressed “deep concern” about them.

Despite that it has courted Libyan rebels, and praised the National Transitional Council (NTC) as a major political force in Libya and important dialogue partner.

Question marks remain over Russia, however, which was with Gaddafi almost until the end.

I suspect though, that the new Libyan government will want Libya’s international relations to begin positively.  It would therefore make very little sense for the country to have poor relations with the Russian Federation if it can be avoided.

In any case, Libya will eventually require an army.  And I would sooner Libya buy Russia’s goods than support the poisonous military industrial complex that is destroying the Western world.

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